Become a Foster Parent


Become a Foster Parent TN DCS

Thank you for your interest in becoming a DCS Foster Parent and providing care for children in need of safety and security.

First, consider if you are eligible. Do you meet the initial criteria?

You must be able to:

  • give without the expectation of immediate returns 
  • have room in your home and in your daily life 
  • learn and use proven behavioral management skills 
  • love and care for children with problems
  • support birth families and help a child return home

Foster Parents can be: 

  • single or married 
  • with, or without, children of their own 
  • able to financially meet your own needs
  • in sufficient good health 
  • at least 21-years of age 

Requirements:

  • must be fingerprinted and pass a background check
  • must complete a training program called PATH -- Parents As Tender Healers
  • participate in a Home Study
  • must provide five references

DCS carefully assesses all applicants and the department also provides the opportunity for prospective Foster Parents to work with a case manager to assess themselves before they accept the role of Foster Parent.

Still interested? If so, here is what is next:

Select and complete the inquiry form for potential foster parents.  If you have questions before beginning this process, please indicate this in the comment section of the inquiry form or leave a message at our toll-free number, 1-877-DCS-KIDS. 

The foster care staff will contact you to answer any questions before processing your inquiry.  After your inquiry has been proceeded, you will be connected to DCS staff in your community who will initiate and complete your approval process by conducting a preliminary background check, assist you in registering for PATH foster parent training and completing your home study.  

PATH classes start monthly in each DCS region and are held one night a week, or on Saturday mornings, for about six weeks.  Additional annual training is required to remain active. These training sessions help foster parents learn more about caring for children with specific needs, particularly children who have experienced trauma and loss.